Darbytown, Strawberry Plains, New Market Road, Gravel Hill
July 27 - 29, 1864
Henrico County, Virginia
The Battle of First Deep Bottom took place on July 27-29, 1864, as part of the Petersburg Campaign. The battle resulted from a Union advance north of the James River, crossing the watercourse at a point known to locals as Deep Bottom. The operation was meant to draw Confederates away from the Petersburg trenches before Grant ignited a huge mine below the fortifications and launched a new assault. From July 27-29, Union forces under Winfield Scott Hancock engaged in a series of sharp fights with Confederates under Richard H. Anderson as both sides jockeyed for position on the northern bank of the James. Although Hancock’s forces performed well, they were unable to move west from Deep Bottom and gravely threaten Richmond. Nevertheless, the battle successfully diverted Robert E. Lee’s men and attention in the days before the mine was blown.